This Tuesday, July 24th, workers from across the city are coming together for a Day of Action for Low Wage Workers.
The people who work in our local supermarkets – People we see daily when we buy our groceries - will be among those standing up for respect and dignity for all our city’s workers. These workers are one of the most underpaid workers in the city.
In one grocery store in Brooklyn, at least ten workers alleged to have worked 72-hour work weeks routinely, yet have been paid as little as $4.86 per hour with no overtime.[i] Nicandro Martinez-Rodriguez, who has worked in the produce department for 12 years, made $350 a week for 12 hour days, 6 days a week. i
That’s below the federally required minimum wage! The manager’s excuse? According to the New York Daily News, the manger stated, “The Spanish guys don’t know English writing and reading. How would they know American labor law?” .[i]
Our most vulnerable workers are being exploited and it’s time to fight back! Join us and fight for dignity and respect for all our workers.
It’s time to taking back New York for working families and ensure that ALL workers are able to earn a living wage to support their families. But it starts with YOU standing up.
When the workers at one supermarket in Brooklyn organized themselves and the neighborhood, the owner started paying minimum wage.[i] Together the community and the workers won, and now they are fighting for justice and demanding back wages.
Roberto Ramirez, , who has worked at a grocery store in Brooklyn for 6 years, said “They treated us like slaves.” But after seeing how the community supported them by signing petitions, going door knocking and boycotting the store, he was motivated to fight for more.[i]
[i] Erin Durkin, Suit says workers at Brooklyn grocery made just $4 an hour, New York Daily News, http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-02-09/news/31043383_1_minimum-wage-workers-american-labor-law (2/9/2012).